chronic insomnia – problems falling or staying asleep, or markedly unrestful sleep for more than three weeks – can drive people crazy.
often there are underlying problems: depression, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, etc. treating them can help with sleeplessness. other things that can help are widely known, such as not drinking caffeine, not reading or watching tv in bed, having a regular bedtime routine, etc.
here are a few ideas that you may not be that familiar with:
- if you have trouble falling asleep for over 30 minutes, get up and do something boring in dim light until you get sleepy again
- get yourself physically exhausted in fresh air (but no less than one hour before you go to bed)
- take a very warm bath with epsom salts and/or baking soda
- get your partner to give you a gentle massage until you fall asleep
- quiet ears: lie on your back with your hands behind your head, fingers interlocked, and your palms cupping the back of your head. get as relaxed as possible (this position make take a little while to get used to). place your thumbs in your ears so that you are pressing the outer flap of your ear and blocking the entrance to the ear canal. lie quietly and listen for a high-pitched sound that you will gradually hear inside your head. lie there for 10 to 15 minutes and concentrate on that sound. then put your arms to your sides and go to sleep. (and no, it will not cause tinnitus)
- eye flutters: fixate on a single point (like the ceiling) and then close your eyes. keep your eyes closed for 5 seconds, then gently and slowly open them for just a moment, then close your eyes again, this time keeping them closed for 10 seconds. repeat until your eyes begin to fatigue and you drift off to sleep, each time increasing your “closed” count by 5 seconds.
- reading something “soft” – something that will engage you enough to want to read for a few pages but not so exciting that you can’t put it down – in dim light. fatigued eyes often bring on sleep.
- when you wake up in the middle of the night, have a mantra ready (“sleeping, sleeping, sleeping” works for me) that you start saying immediately so that your mind does not engage in thoughts
- let’s not forget listening to the goldberg variations, written by j.s. bach to help his patron, count kayserling, fall asleep!
- and last not least, there is always sex! (i don’t think we need to a link for that, you probably know how that works 🙂
good night …
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(this post was included in the 11th carnival of doing it differently. thanks!)